teacher evaluations

Wally Gobetz / Flickr

 

New York’s Board of Regents meets Monday and Tuesday to finalize controversial new teacher evaluation laws ahead of a June 30 deadline.

When legislators mandated the evaluation system in the state budget, they left out some details. Now the state Education Department is writing those rules, and the Regents will vote on them.

Questions remain about teacher evaluation timeline

Jun 2, 2015
Colleen / via Flickr

While ethics reform may be dominating much of the conversation in Albany, education advocates are hoping the public and lawmakers don't forget there's much work to be done regarding teacher evaluations. Last month, the Assembly passed legislation to push back the deadline for local school districts to implement their teacher evaluation system. But final action has not been taken on that legislation.

Columbia City Blog / Flickr

A near record number of school budgets were approved around the state in Tuesday’s vote. Many are attributing the relative lack of controversy to the three year old property tax cap that limits tax levy increases, as well as an increase in state aid.

Wallyg / via Flickr

With just a few weeks left in the legislative session, education issues continue to dominate. Some lawmakers want to fix a recently passed law that requires a fast turn around for new teacher evaluations, while others would like a tax break for donors that would help private schools.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has seen much of his ambitious legislative agenda for 2015 stall, as first the Assembly Speaker, and then the Senate Leader, were charged with corruption and had to resign their leadership posts.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

Disagreements that have roiled the state’s education community in the wake of new teacher evaluation laws approved by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the legislature as part of the budget were highlighted at a day long summit called by education officials.

Principals, teachers and school boards have objected to the tight deadline in the law, as well as the greater reliance on standardized tests, a component that Cuomo has insisted upon.

Max Klingensmith / Flickr

A large number of New York’s students refused to participate in state tests this year. Now, their cries may have been heard in Albany.

Advocates estimate the so-called “opt-out” movement had almost 200,000 students, and all those test booklets sat empty for a lot of different reasons. Some opt-outers dislike New York’s new teacher evaluation system that ties ratings more closely to student test scores. Others say kids just take too many tests these days.

timlewisnm / Flickr

There’s growing support in the state legislature to address controversial aspects of the state’s Common Core learning standards and related testing.

More students across New York opted out of the state’s math tests -- over 150,000 students -- according to an anti-Common Core group that’s encouraged students to skip. It follows the boycott by tens of thousands of students of the third through eighth grade English tests earlier in April.  

Melinda Shelton / Flickr

Less than a month after it was enacted, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s new teacher evaluation plan seems to be in jeopardy, with the Regents chancellor calling for a year’s delay and a key senator saying the legislature needs to revisit the issue.

Karen Dewitt / WRVO News

The head of the state’s largest teachers union predicts that the legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo will have to revisit new teacher evaluation laws passed as part of the state budget, now that almost one fifth of students have opted out of the tests.

New York State United Teacher’s President Karen Magee says the boycott of the third through eighth grade English tests by nearly 20 percent of New York’s students will undermine the new teacher evaluation system that relies more heavily on the controversial standardized tests.  

Melinda Shelton / Flickr

The changes to the teacher evaluation system that the New York state legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo enacted received much attention in this year's budget debate. The focus has often been on the role of standardized tests in teacher evaluations. But the way the new reforms will change how the classroom performance portion of the evaluation is conducted is now generating some concern as well. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

This budget season in Albany has further eroded the relationship between teachers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo. 

When Cuomo linked school reform to school spending in this year’s budget process, it ratcheted up the rancor from teachers, school districts and some parents across the state.   

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

Even before the final details of the education changes in the budget are revealed, teachers’ unions are already claiming partial victory in their war of words with Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Thomas Favre-Bulle / via Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the legislature are considering a commission to design a new teacher evaluation plan, in order to break an impasse over the state budget. But even some lawmakers admit that the compromise is just kicking the can down the road.

Cuomo has demanded that education policy changes be passed along with the state budget or he’ll hold up school aid increases.

DeFrancisco weighs in on education, ethics debates

Mar 9, 2015

After four on-time state budgets, this year's debate over in Albany over the spending plan seems particularly contentious. Sen. John DeFrancisco, a Republican from the Syracuse area, has had some choice words for the governor, a Democrat. DeFrancisco is also chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

Karen DeWitt/WRVO News

Hundreds of teachers are rallied at the state Capitol late Monday, saying they are calling out Gov. Andrew Cuomo for what they say is his anti-public school agenda.

The teachers, including New York State United Teachers Union Vice President Andy Pallotta, say Cuomo has declared a war on students, parents, and teachers, and is advancing a “test and punish” agenda.

“He has no respect for public education,” Pallotta shouted, as the crowd cheered.

Colleen / via Flickr

Teachers have been holding rallies all around the state protesting Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s education proposals, and hundreds are expected to converge on the Capitol late Monday to protest over reliance on standardized tests, and other issues. Cuomo has called the teachers unions part of a “bloated bureaucracy” that he says needs to be broken. He wants teacher performance reviews to rely more on standardized test results, and he’d like 100 more charter schools in New York.

WBFO file photo

Some New York state lawmakers would like the conversation about education reform and funding to focus on getting rid of the gap elimination adjustment. State Sen. Patty Ritchie (R-Heuvelton) is one of those who wants to repeal the state’s formula for cutting some funding for local school districts over the last few years.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivered his joint State of the State and budget message, proposing a $141.6 billion spending plan that in part sets up a show down with teachers and education advocates.

The governor wants 100 more charter schools and an overhaul of teacher evaluations, which he says are “baloney,” because virtually all teachers are rated as adequate.

“Ninety-eight percent of the teachers rated effective,” Cuomo said. “Who are we kidding, my friends?”

governorandrewcuomo / via Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo laid out a sweeping agenda for 2015, in today’s joint State of the State and budget address. The two yearly presentations were combined following the death of Cuomo’s father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo on Jan. 1.

Many of the proposals the governor emphasized in his speech, have been rolled out in recent weeks, like the $1.7 billion tax relief proposal, and the $500 million project to expand broadband across the state.

Cuomo offered a shout-out to one central New York institution, the New York State Fair, which he said needs a state-supported update.

Chris Ford / Flickr

The legislative session is off to a subdued start, with the governor’s State of the State message delayed for two weeks. Nevertheless, fault lines are already forming over some key issues, including rent regulations and how to measure teacher performance.

Karen DeWitt

Teachers union members and pro-charter school advocates demonstrated outside the governor’s mansion on New Year’s Eve, as inside, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his partner Sandra Lee greeted guests who won a lottery attend an annual open house, one day before the governor is to begin his second term.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has vetoed a measure he introduced to protect teachers with poor evaluations.

The bill would have given a temporary reprieve to teachers who are evaluated as “ineffective” or “developing” because of their student's low standardized test scores.

Teacher evaluation top the list of 2015 education issues

Dec 29, 2014
Thomas Favre-Bulle / via Flickr

What to do with New York state's controversial teacher evaluation program is going to be one of the top education issues facing state officials in 2015.

More than 95 percent of teachers in New York state were rated effective or highly effective, according to the New York State Education Department. Those numbers are a far contrast from student performance. Proficiency in math and English Language Arts among students statewide averages less than 35 percent. Only one-third of graduating students are considered career or college ready.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO/file photo

The state is losing its education commissioner, as John King takes a job with the Obama administration. King was in charge of school policies during a tumultuous time, and he admits there are things he could have done better.

King is leaving after five and a half years to become assistant U.S. education secretary under Arne Duncan. In an interview with public radio and TV, King says he hopes his legacy in New York will be his intense focus on getting the Common Core learning standards push started in the state.

governorandrewcuomo / via Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has written a letter to state education officials, saying he wants answers on why 99 percent of teachers scored highly on the most recent evaluations, while other data shows two-thirds of school children performing below acceptable levels in math and English.

The state Assembly passed a bill Wednesday to delay some of the effects of New York’s Common Core learning standards.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says the bill delays the effects of the new learning standards for two more years, for both students and teachers. Teachers fear they will be evaluated on their pupils’ test scores when there wasn’t enough time to prepare and teach the new material.

Thomas Favre-Bulle / via Flickr

The New York State Board of Regents at the last minute reversed course and decided not to hold a final vote on some changes to weaken implementation of the Common Core standards in New York.  

The Regents were set to vote to delay the effects of Common Core on high school seniors for five more years, until 2022, and to offer teachers some protections if they are fired during the next two years.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO/file photo

The state Board of Regents is poised to delay some requirements of the federal Common Core standards. But some state lawmakers are still questioning whether the Regents are going far enough to remedy what critics say is a flawed rollout of the new standards.

The Board of Regents, facing pressure from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the legislature, is recommending that the effects of the new high stakes testing on students, designed in response to the Common Core, be delayed for five more years.

Regents Chancellor Meryl Tisch, in a statement, offered an apology.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

In 2013, public education took center stage in New York state. A new, more rigorous curriculum was put in place in public schools in 2012 and the impacts of that exploded in classrooms across the state this past year.

The New York Times editorial board called the Common Core a once in a generation opportunity; U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan says the new curriculum may prove to be "the single greatest thing to happen to public education in America since Brown v. Board of Education."

So why all the controversy? To find out, we have to go back a couple years.

Katie Keier / Flickr

A coalition of unions and government reform groups are calling for a ban on standardized testing for New York’s school children in second grade and younger.

In a teleconference, United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew said it’s absurd that the groups are even in the position of calling for a ban on standardized testing for children in pre-kindergarten through the second grade. Mulgrew and others say the tests are inappropriate for four to seven year olds, and should never have been implemented in the first place.

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